Oh boy, that was rough. As a supporter of Bernie Sanders, obviously I wasn’t all that thrilled with the results of the New York Democratic Primary, and not just because we very clearly have a lot of things broken and just plain wrong about our election system right now. Bernie lost, which as a supporter of his is a really big bummer. It’s time for Sanders backers to get really real with ourselves. His path to the nomination got even more rocky in New York.
All that being said, from where I sit there are some glimmers of hope, or silver linings that is the gray cloud of Bernie’s New York loss. Here are the four I could come up with.
#4. He took a shitload of New York’s counties — just not the ones with the most people in them
Just looking at the results map from the primary shows you that Sanders may have lost in the raw votes, and by a pretty wide margin, but it would by folly to call him unpopular. While you should take this one with a grain of salt, because the Republicans have a very similar looking national map after the last several presidential elections, it’s just absolutely bonkers of anyone to suggest that Sanders didn’t have a good night in terms of the number of precincts and counties he won. He just couldn’t win over the urban centers, which has been one of his biggest weaknesses. So maybe this one is a silverish-gray lining, but it still left my spirits at least a little buoyed seeing all the counties shaded in Sanders’ favor.
#3. He’s catching up with Clinton in national polling
Fivethirtyeight ran a story yesterday that said Hillary Clinton’s national lead over Bernie is the thinnest it’s been yet. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that Clinton’s lead is just two points. Maybe it really is too little, too late for Sanders at this point. However, despite not winning enough of the more densely populated areas, his polling surge combined with the sheer volume of precincts he did win shows that he is tremendously popular right now. Whether nor not that equates to a string of primary upset victories is yet to be seen, but it’s never a bad thing for a candidate’s chances when they move up in the polls.
#2. It is going to be difficult for either candidate to get all the delegates they need before the convention
It hasn’t become a dominant narrative in the media yet, but a lot of the sources I read are starting to tell me that a contested convention might just be in the offing. There was this article from HuffPo made the argument, but they relied on Sanders perhaps winning in New York, which clearly didn’t happen. But the same author just a few days ago published yet another piece in which he argued even without the New York victory in his pocket, Sanders could still deny Clinton the nomination because she needed at that time roughly 65% of the remaining delegates. In other words, it’s becoming very clear that while Bernie may not secure the delegates needed to take it outright himself, neither will Hillary unless she starts racking up even bigger wins. Gee. Maybe that’s why Team Hillary is so desperate to have Sanders drop out?
#1. He hasn’t dropped out yet
I know, I know, this one’s kinda silly sounding at first right? Well, maybe it’s the baseball fanatic in me, but I can’t just give up on a game in the top of the 7th. I refuse to. It doesn’t appear that Bernie’s going to give up until he’s taken his final swings either. In the end, perhaps Bernie will fall short, and his supporters will have to take a good, long, hard look at supporting Hillary (or not). But for right now, there are still more primaries, and more votes to be cast in them. As long as there is air in the tires, and gas in the engine, Sanders supporters can and should hold out hope. Of course Team Hillary is going to yell and scream about how it’s hurting the party, but as my pal Manny just said, Bernie doesn’t owe the DNC shit.